First, watch this video:
Failed Business: A Reflection by Elizabeth Bower
Here’s a story of a failed business. To be more specific, it’s a story of one of MY failed business ideas. This failure is a great example of how Simon Sinek’s golden circle truly taps into the psychology of buying and selling.
After my son was born, we picked up and moved to Pittsburgh. I was a stay at home mom to one busy little boy. Then not too long after, a stay at home mom to a little baby girl also. Among the busyness of motherhood, I was also in a funk of monotony and plagued with ill-content at missing the workforce. I missed having something that was my own and my own achievements.
So, like any go-getter, I set out to start my own little side business. I loved crafting and creating and I just had had a little girl. It seemed to come together in an instant! “I will make hair accessories!” I decided to create hair accessories for babies, little kids, and teens. Sell them to friends/family, sell them online, and sell them at craft shows. I was busy making my creations, taking my product on the road to local shows, getting photos of my product and putting them on social media. I had the skillset, the motivation, the means, everything was inline. Hard work day and night to create my inventory, business plans, branding, photos, ideas, show, etc., etc.
Fast forward to now. This business is M.I.A. Where did it go? It fizzled out like a party candle. I know, I know, “Every failure is a learning experience.” However, this wasn’t a failure in the sense of not making money or not getting the business to thrive. This was a failure of passion and poor clarity of why. I started the business out of excitement and yes there was passion but where did the passion emanate from?
When I take an honest hard look into the why of this business idea it was twofold. One, I wanted to start something that was mine, my own achievement, and a business that filled the gap of wanting to work. Second, I wanted to make money to contribute to the household. One, two, done. There was no inside to outside story to my business. It was from the outside-in. “I make beautiful hand-crafted hair accessories. Want to buy one?” As Simon stated in his video, this is not a business with an inspiring vision. Without this vision, my business sizzled then fizzled.
It didn’t dissolve due to outside forces. It did so due to my own lack of clarity as to ‘why’ I was starting this business and ‘why’ I was putting energy into it. Like Simon says, “People don’t by what you do, they buy why you do it.” It turns out, the same goes for yourself. I didn’t by what I did because I didn’t have a CLEAR why.
Simon Sinek, How Great Leaders Inspire Action: Golden Circle. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4&feature=youtu.be